Today marks the end of my most favorite month and the beginning of my second most favorite month. I love this time of year. We’ve been enjoying the milder temperatures and have had our windows open for a couple weeks now. I’m savoring it before it gets too cold. On the menu in the near future: slow-simmering roasts and squash-based pastas. I can’t wait. I know I jumped the gun and have already shared a couple soup recipes with you recently, and now I’m sharing another one, but this time it’s OK (not that I’m apologizing for the other two, haha). It’s October. It’s soup season.
This ramen is probably my most favorite thing at the moment. I know I say that a lot, but this recipe is just…winning. Do people still say that? I’m always a bit behind on the lingo. Anyway. This recipe is a combo of two of my most favorite comfort dishes in this world: Thai coconut soup and ramen. I’ve melded the two to create this incredible bowl of food hugs. Yes, food hugs. You know what I’m talking about. Food that warms your soul. Food that makes you feel at home and cozy. Food that makes the stress of hard days fade away. For me, that’s what this bowl of goodness does.
If you’ve never had Thai coconut soup, you are seriously missing out. I shared a simple recipe for it awhile back. It is still a favorite and a chilly weather staple in our house. Thai take out is a semi-regular occurrence around these parts, and I ALWAYS get the coconut soup to start. Always, always, always. This recipe includes my version of the coconut broth, complete with fragrant lemongrass and spicy Thai chiles.
And then there’s the ramen aspect of this dish. Ramen has been a comfort food staple since my college days. Back then, it was usually a late-night, post-drinking snack. Today, it’s a full-blown dinner, complete with homemade broth and fun add-ins like soft-boiled eggs and fresh herbs. I shared a recipe for this bacon and eggs ramen just over a year ago, and it is the number one recipe on this site. More people have viewed that recipe than any other. Turns out, ramen speaks to everyone. And it’s easy to see why. Not only is it delicious and comforting, but it’s EASY and super customizable. You can do it. Trust me.
This recipe starts out with the broth. It’s all about the broth. You start by simmering a bunch of aromatics in some store-bought chicken or veggie stock (homemade would be even better, I’m sure). The house smells heavenly. Because I like a completely smooth broth (it’s how I’ve always had this type of soup), I strain the aromatics out. Thus, I leave these things kind of chunky. If you want to skip the straining step, definitely finely chop all of the ingredients for the broth, especially the lemongrass and ginger, which can have a slightly unpleasant woody texture. Whichever method you choose, the addition of the coconut milk makes dreams come true in all its silky, creamy glory. Gah. Love it.
Then, for the add ins, I poach chicken breasts in said broth, soft boil some eggs (instructions for my perfect soft-boiled egg are included below), and make a quick red pepper and cabbage sauté for some crunch and sweetness. The varying textures and flavors going on in this bowl, along with the super flavorful broth and tender ramen noodles…it’s just perfection. There’s sweet, tangy, spicy, salty, and savory aspects of this dish. It’s complex yet light. And it’s super fun to slurp up with some chopsticks and a spoon.
So yeah, need a food hug? This soup is the answer!
It’s my ultimate fall comfort dish. And I plan on making it again and again and again and…you get the idea.
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced (or 1 small onion)
2 small Thai chiles, minced (see NOTES below)
¼ cup lemongrass, finely chopped (see NOTES below)
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Juice of 2 limes
2 (13-oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk (I recommend using the full-fat variety here)
1 lb of chicken breasts or tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 soft-boiled eggs
3 packages dried ramen noodles (discard the included seasoning packets)
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
Sriracha hot sauce, optional
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots, chiles, lemongrass, ginger, and garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant.
Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add in the fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Discard the solids and return the broth to the pot. Return the mixture to a simmer.
Stir in the coconut milk and the chicken and simmer over low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Keep the broth warm while you prep the add-in ingredients.
Cook your eggs to desired doneness in simmering water (for perfect soft-boiled eggs, I cook mine in simmering water for exactly 5 minutes and then place in an ice bath. This results in a cooked egg white and a runny yolk. You can add a minute if you want your yolk a little firmer). When they are finished, place them in an ice bath but do not drain the cooking water. Keep the water simmering. Once they are completely cool, peel the eggs and set aside until you are ready to serve.
To the same water, add your ramen noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse under cool water, and set aside.
Dry out the pot used for the eggs/noodles and return to medium heat. Drizzle in a few teaspoons of oil and then add the red peppers and cabbage. Season with a little salt, pepper, and a drizzle of Sriracha hot sauce and sauté until they are tender-crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
Arrange the cooked noodles, cabbage, and red peppers in serving bowls. Pour the coconut broth over top, making sure each bowl gets some of the chicken. Halve the eggs carefully. Top each bowl with the soft-boiled eggs, cilantro, fresh scallions, and lime wedges. Serve immediately.
If you cannot find Thai chiles, use a couple jalapeños instead. I would leave the seeds/ribs intact to ensure enough spice.
If you cannot find fresh lemongrass, check the Asian/International aisle for jarred lemongrass in water. They also sell tubes of lemongrass paste in my store’s produce section. Works in a pinch!
If you are making this ahead or planning to eat this over the course of a couple days, I recommend keeping all the components separate until you are ready to serve. The eggs, broth, noodles, and sautéed veggies will taste best if combined at the time of serving. Reheat the broth and pour over the other components; it will warm them through. If possible, cook your eggs as you need them and not ahead.